Sunday, August 16, 2009


When I write an opinion article for a Dutch daily - in which I claim that most so-called supporters of either the Palestinians or Israel spend most of their 'support'-time blaming 'the other side', and that hardly any of them is able or willing to admit that the side that (s)he supports might be at fault too - most if not all commentators focus on 'proving' once again how guilty and evil the other side and its supporters are. The Hebrew version of my last article was not very well edited by Ynet, I must say. If you read the article superficially, you might think that the 'ugliness' of some Israeli tourists abroad, something that only was a trigger for the piece, is the main point that I wanted to make. For instance, the title chosen by the site's editors, "The ugly Israeli in his full glory", diverts attention from the central subject of the article: the way(s) in which Israelis often deal with criticism. Anyway, if you read the article with a minimum of real interest, you will get my main point easily. Some readers certainly did get it, given a number of very good comments ( some of which point out that most comments prove exactly what I intented to say, which is also the main point of this blog posting ). Some of my 'supporters' go totally over the top, saying that Israelis in general behave in ugly ways; I specifically deny that in the article, although in the Hebrew version that is less clear. Still, most of the comments can be categorized into four basic statements, each of which is somehow mentioned in the article itself:
  • "Everybody abuses the Museum Card" ( which apparently makes it o.k. to do so )
  • "The behavior of members of non-Israeli tribes is just as ugly, if not uglier" ( as I say in the Hebrew article: I do not care very much about the 'ugliness' of Russians, Chinese, Germans, Australians, or even the Dutch, because that does not affect me and my family, or at least not as much as Israeli misbehavior, abuse, lack of morals etc. affect my loved ones and the country that I love so much; I really and naively believe that Israel - as a Jewish state and a democracy - would benefit from taking a lot of in- and outside criticism more seriously )
  • "Criticism against Israel is rooted in anti-Semitism" ( the classical bromide, which - even if it is frequently true - has lost most of its meaning because it is used excessively and often wrongly)
  • "People like you are self-hating lefties, you should go back to Holland"

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